Six years ago, I read online that practicing breathing exercises could help reduce anxiety. I didn’t anticipate that some of my most profound personal moments would eventually arise from nurturing these moments of silence.
In our day-to-day lives, we’re surrounded by constant noise. When we finally want to shut it all off, sometimes we lose sleep because our minds keep running. Accumulated stress, even to the most marginal degrees, can also negatively impact our physical health.
Meditation feels like stepping into a forest after being in a city. The crisp air refreshes your lungs with the essence of pine and pure air. Stress is cleansed off your shoulders like a dip in a natural spring. Eyelids rest on the sight of blooming buds and newborn vines. And for once, you only hear silence.
When I first began meditating, I didn’t fully comprehend the point of it. The most unsuspecting topics would pop in my head and I had trouble focusing on solely my breathing. I would snap out of my stance and take action on some thought that had crossed my mind.
From there, I would experiment with meditation on and off. During this trial period, I was diagnosed with clinical anxiety, and so when my energies were too high for comfort I would give another attempt at meditating. Over time, I grew to appreciate the time spent calming my mind, but I didn’t expect it to become a significant aspect of my lifestyle.
Now, I meditate at least once a day for an average of 15 minutes. While I try to push myself to twice a day, I nevertheless and oftentimes finish feeling like a better version of myself after any amount of time. Meditation helps me:
- Release stress and reduce my worries
- Feel more self-aware about my thoughts and emotions
- Accept the present moment with gratitude
- Find balance between my mind, spirit, and body
- Approach difficult situations with grace and patience
- Critically reflect on behaviors and feelings that arise and distract me
- Remain humble, because focusing on my breathing reminds me how small I am
- Connect with subconscious wisdom and creativity that otherwise may not be heard
- Reach a sense of inner peace that external situations can’t shake
And that truly only scratches the surface!
When your mind is quiet, you can connect with the rest that makes you human but what we oftentimes neglect: your body and spirit. Some of my most transformative personal moments have risen out of meditating. In the silence, I’ve reached newfound understandings about myself, relationships, and the world around me. Developing an inner sense of tranquility and grace organically within yourself inevitably improves your overall well-being.
Even if you don’t feel like you have the time to spare, you can practice meditative techniques throughout everyday life. There’s no measure of success, either. Relaxing your mind to any extent, from simple breathing exercises to intensive trances, will be beneficial for your health. Be patient; it takes a lot of practice. But I promise you’ll be glad you did.